New rules to help check foreign doctors' English language skills are a "huge step forward for patient safety", the Health Minister has said.
Previously EU doctors could practise in the UK without having to pass a language test, while those from outside Europe could be made to prove their grasp of English..
The new powers mean the General Medical Council can order a language test if "serious concerns" are raised about a doctor.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "For the first time ever, we have a full system of checks in place to prevent doctors working in the NHS who do not have the necessary knowledge of English from treating patients."
"This is a huge step forward for patient safety. I am pleased to have played my part in making this happen," he added.
More top news
Jon Platt's conviction brings to an end a legal battle over unauthorised term-time absences that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
Five people, including three children, have died after being electrocuted in a pool at a water park in Turkey, it has been reported.
Dan Evans, who is currently ranked third in the UK men's rankings and 50th in the world, said: "I made a mistake and I must face up to it."